US-based attorney, Thomas Whalen: sanctions on Iranian airlines are detrimental to airline safety and violate the Chicago Convention

Iran Air’s US-based attorney, Thomas Whalen from the aviation law practice of Washington firm Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott, argues that sanctions in international aviation are detrimental to all involved

The USA continues to impose sanctions on Iranian carriers that are detrimental to airline safety and violate the Chicago Convention.
The economic sanctions the USA has imposed against Iran for the last 25- plus years not only block trade but also prevent carriers in Iran from obtaining US-made aircraft as well as engines and parts which are needed to maintain the safety of their fleets. The sanctions are detrimental to aviation safety and are endangering the lives of passengers travelling on Iran Air, other Iranian carriers and foreign airlines which operate to Iran. As a result, these sanctions violate the commitment to airline safety made by the USA, Iran and most nations of the world in 1944 when the Chicago Convention was forged.

More on: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lift-the-sanctions-210232/

Iranian Human Rights Defenders Voice Support for Nuclear Talks

While the prospects of reaching a comprehensive deal any time soon are far from certain, one thing is for sure: important actors, from all sides of the political spectrum inside Iran, support the diplomatic process. Indeed, just this week the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) released a study showing leading Iranian activists’ support for the negotiations.

“Opponents of the nuclear talks cannot use human rights concerns as a tool to undermine the negotiations,” said Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of the Campaign. “The very individuals who have suffered the most from the human rights crisis in Iran remain fully committed to the negotiations.”

 

More than two-thirds of the 22 key human and civil rights defenders interviewed said they felt an agreement resulting in the lifting of sanctions would improve the economic conditions of ordinary people, who would then be enabled to focus on improving civil liberties.

 

“Every single human rights advocate – along with journalists, editors, private business owners and so on – I have met in Iran hopes for the resolution of the nuclear conflict and eventual ending of sanctions for two basic reasons: one is economic and one is political,” said independent scholar and LobeLog contributor Farideh Farhi.

 

“As one prominent human rights advocate told me, the right to economic livelihood is also a human rights issue. Given the comprehensive nature of US-led sanctions, these folk see them as major violations of the Iranian peoples’ rights and want them removed,” said Farhi, who is currently in Tehran.

 

“Politically, while the lifting of sanctions is not presumed to automatically lead to better treatment of dissidents and critics by the state, there is hope that the reduced threat perception and reduced fear of regime change will eventually lead to the further loosening of the political environment,” she added.

“The study makes clear that anyone concerned about human rights in Iran should not use human rights to undermine a nuclear deal,” Mike Amitay, a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Policy Center, told LobeLog. “Human rights issues should be addressed in tandem with support for the negotiations and in a way that does not undermine the success of the negotiations.”

http://www.payvand.com/news/14/jul/1111.html

Britain must trust Rouhani and build Iran ties with nuclear deal, say MPs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/10962462/Britain-must-trust-Rouhani-and-build-Iran-ties-with-nuclear-deal-say-MPs.html

Britain must establish a diplomatic presence in Iran to capitalise on a potential deal on the the country’s nuclear programme or lose out on global race to trade with Tehran, an influential Commons committee has said.

In a wide-ranging report on British policy towards the oil rich state, MPs said the Foreign Office must trust that President Hassan Rouhani, who took office last year, is a genuine reformist determined to transform the country’s relationship with the West.

Policymakers must now anticipate that a deal to remove sanctions on Iran would be based on a compromise that allowed limited enrichment of uranium despite UN resolutions that banned Iran’s nuclear programme.

The MPs warned that Britain was in danger of being left behind in efforts to rebuild the trade relationship as businessmen from other nations rushed to Tehran.

It said diplomats should accept a pact to allow “mutually defined enrichment of uranium if the breakout period for a bomb is pushed to six months or more.

The MPs said a range of options should be set out for Britain to win friends and allies in Tehran. It said the Foreign Office must be ready to acknowledge the role played by the predecessors in deposing the elected Iranian prime minister in 1953.

Poll conducted by University of Maryland: Large Majority of Americans Favor Making a Deal with Iran on its Nuclear Program

http://www.public-consultation.org/studies/Iran_july14.html

As the clock runs out on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, a new study of the American public finds that 61 percent favor making a deal with Iran that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose additional intrusive inspections in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. This includes 62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents.

The deal that was backed by a majority specified that Iran could enrich uranium to the level necessary for nuclear energy, provided that it accepts intrusive inspections to ensure that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. Some sanctions would then be gradually removed, provided that Iran upholds the agreement.

The study also finds that 61 percent favor working together with Iran to deal with the situation in Iraq. More than seven in ten also favor various confidence-building measures, such as more cultural exchanges and sporting events, as well as more extensive government-to-government talks on issues of mutual concern.

“While there are no easy or definitive answers to the dispute about Iran’s nuclear program, most Americans clearly favor diplomatic engagement and cooperation over the alternatives,” said Nancy Gallagher, research director at CISSM. “Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all think that compromise makes more sense than yet another round of sanctions.”

The TIME: Iran Sanctions Have Cost U.S. Economy Up to $175 Billion, Study Says

http://time.com/2981444/iran-sanctions-us-economy/

U.S. sanctions against Iran don’t just hurt the Islamic Republic, they also have an impact on the U.S. economy—to the tune of as much as $175.3 billion since 1995, according to a new study.

The report found the U.S. had lost between $134.7 and 175 billion in potential export revenue since 1995, after examining decades of bilateral trade patterns between Iran and its 25 largest trading partners, plus Mexico, due to its high level of trade with the U.S.

The report also finds an average of between 51,000 and 66,000 lost job opportunities in the U.S. every year since 1995.

Among European nations, Germany was the biggest potential loser, with between $23.1 and $73 billion in missed economic opportunities.

Bahrain: The island of imprisoned (Shia) children and razed (Shia) mosques

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/13/isle-of-imprisoned-children-and-razed-mosques/

“An overwhelming Shia Muslim majority is ruled by a Sunni Muslim royal family who bestow privileged, expedited citizenship on (Sunni) foreign nationals. These non-Bahrainis are then employed in the security sector to enforce authoritarian rule and skew the island’s demographics…“

“In the last two years scores of children have been arrested and detained in connection with ongoing anti-government protests in predominantly Shi’a towns and villages in Bahrain. In a number of cases children have reportedly been tortured or otherwise ill-treated to force them to sign “confessions” which were then used in court to incriminate them and others.”

“The demolition of Shia mosques occurred right at the onset of the government’s crackdown, numbering over 30 in just a few months. This included the historic, 400-year-old Amir Mohammed Barbagi Mosque which was completely leveled. ”

 

In Private Speech, Dick Cheney Talks Bombing Iran and GOP Donors Applaud

What do former Vice President Dick Cheney, billionaire megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and Republican activists and funders talk about—and applaud—when they’re behind closed doors at a Las Vegas hotel? Bombing Iran.

This past weekend, the Republican Jewish Coalition held its spring leadership meeting at Adelson’s Venetian hotel, where several possible 2016 contenders, including ex-Gov. Jeb Bush and current Govs. Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and John Kasich, showed up to kiss the ring of the casino magnate, who’s looking to bankroll a viable Republican presidential candidate. Though the heavy-on-Israel speeches of the White House wannabes were open to the press, the keynote address delivered by Cheney on Saturday night was off-limits to reporters and the public.

Listen to the recording at:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/dick-cheney-sheldon-adelson-speech-bomb-iran

Ayatollah Tehrani’s gift stirs global conversation on religious co-existence

 


Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani perfecting an illuminated work of calligraphy. The words used in this piece are from the writings of Baha’u’llah.

 

NEW YORK – The ground-breaking gift of a senior Iranian cleric to the worldwide Baha’i community is beginning to stir a global conversation about religious co-existence and freedom of religion.

 

More statements of support for the actions and words of Ayatollah Abdol-Hamid Masoumi-Tehrani have been issued in the United Kingdom and India, and other prominent individuals are offering comments in the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.

 

The response comes after Ayatollah Tehrani bravely gave to the Baha’is of the world a calligraphic rendering of Baha’i sacred verses, along with a plea for religious “co-existence”.

Harry van Bommel, a Member of Parliament in the Netherlands, published news of Ayatollah Tehrani’s actions on his blog, saying: “The action of this Ayatollah is important and does not stand alone. There are a growing number of religious scholars who together form a constructive and principled voice [for religious co-existence] that deserves to be supported and promoted.”

At the heart of the work are the following words: “Consort with the followers of all religions with amity and concord.”

The calligraphic work was accompanied by a three-page statement, which, among other things, said:

“I present this precious symbol – an expression of sympathy and care from me and on behalf of all my open-minded fellow citizens who respect others for their humanity and not for their religion or way of worship – to all the Baha’is of the world, particularly to the Baha’is of Iran who have suffered in manifold ways as a result of blind religious prejudice.”

Last week, religious leaders in India and Church of England clerics in the United Kingdom also issued statements of praise for Ayatollah Tehrani’s actions.

http://www.payvand.com/news/14/apr/1164.html

 

Syrias destruction is not the result of a spontaneous “revolution” but is systematically pre-planned

http://www.ukcolumn.org/article/abdelbaset-al-megrahi-lockerbie-%E2%80%93-and-lies-we-have-been-told

“In October 2007 General Wesley Clarke recounted how, in late 2001, a Pentagon source informed him that US State Department goals were to “to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years. We are going to start with Iraq, and then we’re going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.”

Perhaps even more significantly, General Clarke recounted a conversation he had had with Paul Wolfowitz in 1991, in which the then number 3 in the Pentagon told Clark: “one thing we did learn [from the First Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region [in the Middle East] and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.” “